Is This Your First Mistake?

In order to build a healthy culture of evaluation, feedback, and performance improvement; both the process and the evaluator must be above reproach.  We usually have the best of intentions during performance evaluation; but those intentions can be easily undermined by poor data collection, ineffective process planning, and incomplete communication.

We are continuing our series with the first of three mistakes that Dr. Mary Lanigan has found evaluators can make during the performance evaluation process.

Mistake 1 – Benchmarks Are Not Established

The ultimate goal of our profession is to optimize employee performance.  Consider that phrase “optimize employee performance.” It sounds impressive, yes?  But what does it mean for your organization and employees?  If you can’t answer that question, then your employees certainly can’t either.  Even if you do know, have you clearly communicated what an optimal employee’s performance would look like?  Without a clear definition and specific benchmarks, “optimal” becomes relative to each and every person’s opinion.

It is our job as evaluators to ensure that concrete and specific benchmarks are established prior to employment, and performance evaluations.  These must be created within the context of the organization and culture, using hard data from within the organization as well as industry standards, and with input and support from management and staff.  Of course, establishing valid benchmarks is another blog entirely.  This is one of our areas of expertise and we are always available as a resource for you and your organization.  Let us know how we can help.


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